Canberra REP launched its 2016-17 Season on 2 October, from the set of the current production Much Ado About Nothing, at Theatre 3, 3 Repertory Lane Acton. With the assistance of the casts from the current and next productions this exciting season was launched; introducing the plays and directors, all of which will allow us to embrace theatre at its best, where we can all Join, Play, Entertain and Excell.
Welcome to Canberra REP’s 84th Season
Our season opens with Anton Chekhov blending the tragic and comic genres with characters that are believable, poignant, touching, and utterly human. Chekhov thought of Uncle Vanya as a comedy. A retired professor and his beautiful young wife return to his country estate—provoking jealousy, lust, frustration and revelation. REP’s own Doctor Geoffrey Borny will be directing the production, bringing his many years of directing experience (he has previously directed several of the plays in this season for REP) and extensive scholarly understanding of Chekhov. We’re looking forward to seeing what he does with one of Chekhov’s best plays.
Our second show of the season is an Agatha Christie: a stunning courtroom drama and a thriller full of the suspense of uncanny and unexpected twists and turns in seeking to find who killed Miss Emily French. This is Witness for the Prosecution, and we are delighted to announce that the fantastic Aarne Neeme will be directing it for us. Aarne has given REP many extraordinary productions, most recently Arcadia, and will also be directing REP’s The Threepenny Opera in February.
Building on the 2014 production of Twelfth Night and the 2015 production of Much Ado About Nothing, our third show is a Shakespearean tragedy, where there is much ado about the sound and fury of power, ambition, and a dark and ominous world of foul and unnatural crimes. Our third show is the Scottish Play, Macbeth. Jordan Best, who gave REP the tension of The Crucible and the joy and heartbreak of Steel Magnolias, will now be showing us what she can do with one of Shakespeare’s darkest, most powerful plays.
Shifting from tragedy to a lighter note, our fourth production of the season opened in 1773 to a roar of continuous approval. It was the first comedy of a new comic genre called “laughing comedy”, a play that changed the shape of English language comedy forever. It is She Stoops to Conquer, Oliver Goldsmith’s sparklingly funny play of mirth and human follies. Fresh from playing the great Casanova, REP welcomes back Tony Turner to direct this seminal work. Tony’s previous plays with REP (as a director) include comedies such as Lady Windermere’s Fan and Pygmalion, and will bring that same deft comedic touch to She Stoops to Conquer!
Our fifth show is Michael Frayn’s 1982 ‘farce within a farce’. The final dress rehearsal of Nothing On is the farce within Noises Off, the fifth show of the season. It has all the important elements of farce with opening and slamming doors, and people losing their pants. A farce of this intricacy needs a great director, and happily Cate Clelland, one of REP's most sucessful directors, has accepted! (Ed Wightman was originally contracted for this role, but due to work commitments is no longer available.) Then years ago, Cate directed REP's last production of this extraordinary farce. More recently, Cate directed REP's Much Ado About Nothing in 2015.
REP finishes off the Season and opens 2017 with a show REP has long wanted to get the rights for again. It is a play about a recently blinded housewife, thieves, a doll, and a battle of wits. The play is Frederick Knott’s breathtaking thriller, Wait Until Dark. The director for this play needs a deft touch, a deep understanding of drama and the timing of thrillers. She also needs no further introduction, because Jordan Best will be directing a second play for REP in this season! It’s a pity we have to sell you the whole seat, because you’ll only need the edge of it!
We look forward to sharing!